A cover letter for an internship application is an important document that helps you show off your education and skills to a recruiter for an internship opportunity.
By writing directly to the recruiter, you have a chance to explain in detail what makes you the perfect candidate for any internship opportunity.
This document should be formatted correctly and include relevant work experience, education, and skills.
Many internships are prestigious and will have many applicants for one or two positions, similar to a traditional job, and some of these internships will also offer a stipend or a full income too. The likelihood that the recruiter will select you for the position can be increased by writing a polished cover letter for an internship application.
Even if you are applying for an internship, recruiters will read your cover letter. You will find that it is easier to get the recruiter’s attention when you are willing to discuss more of your qualifications in a professional cover letter.
In addition, by utilizing the right keywords and including relevant experience, you can effectively show the hiring manager why you are suitable for this internship role.
Examples & Templates
A template for an internship cover letter is a great option to help you with your letter. A template makes it easier to create a letter and saves you time and effort. It ensures that you follow the correct format and include all the relevant information about your skills and education. We offer free, downloadable, and customized cover letter templates to help you get that internship by writing an impressive cover letter for your application.
Anatomy of an Internship Cover Letter
As you write your internship cover letter, it is important to follow the right format to make it look professional. This includes the following:
You will need to create a header that includes your contact information, making it easier for the prospective employer to know who you are and how to contact you for an interview. Start the header with your full name, phone number, and email address to make finding the contact information as simple as possible.
The next step is to add more details to the cover letter so that it looks professional after the contact information has been included. For example, you can add the date of sending the letter and the information about the hiring manager, such as their name and title, company name, and company address.
Address the recruiter
The next step is to begin the letter with the right salutation. It is best if you can do this in a professional way, avoiding a generic salutation that may look like you did not put in any effort at all. Find out the hiring manager’s name and position within the company and use that as part of the salutation. For instance, addressing a letter “To Mrs. Amy Jones” rather than “To Whom It May Concern” demonstrates your interest in the position and that you took the time to find out who would receive it. It is a small detail that can help you get noticed.
Your opening statement will get you noticed and make the hiring manager pay closer attention to your application. Within a few sentences, you need to tell the hiring manager why you are the perfect person for this position and give them more of an idea of why you want to work there.
While writing the opening statement, tell the hiring manager your name and discuss which internship position you want to apply for. Then, in the next few sentences, mention some of the highlights of your educational background that make you the perfect fit for this internship.
The body of the internship cover letter should constitute the majority of the document. This is where you discuss numbers and the details of your skills, education, and accomplishments to show your suitability for the internship. Talk about how an internship at this company is valuable to you. In the two to three paragraphs of the body of this cover letter, your goal is to show the hiring manager why they should offer you the internship.
Your internship cover letter will need to have a closing section. This is your final chance to make a lasting impression on the hiring manager. Include a call to action, encouraging them to give you a call or email you to set up an interview, and re-iterate why this internship is valuable to you. Try to write these few lines persuasively in order to convince the hiring manager to offer you the internship.
How to Create a Cover Letter for an Internship
Now that we’ve established what an internship cover letter is, let’s take a look at some of the steps to take in order to create the perfect cover letter that will get you that internship.
Step 1: Describe your educational accomplishments
Since an internship is a great way for you to gain some experience for a job after college, you will want to make sure that you focus more on your educational accomplishments for this position. Let the hiring manager know about the courses you have taken, your degree, and other information that will pertain to the position.
For example, if you are applying for an advertising internship, mention some of the classes you have taken in public relations and marketing and include any examples of your work from those classes. On the other hand, if you are looking into a business internship, consider talking about your coursework in entrepreneurship or business law.
Step 2: Mention your work experience
In some cases, this internship may be the first experience you gain in your chosen industry. If this is the case for you, then focus more on your skills and education. If you have had a chance to do other internships or have taken on some responsibilities at your job that relate to the internship, even if it is not in the same industry, then mention those as well.
For example, if you work in fast food but have had a chance to help with ordering or scheduling and managing a team of employees, this would be a great work experience to add to an administrative or business internship application. Similarly, if you have assisted other students with computer problems on the side and can demonstrate your knowledge of various programming techniques, you should consider mentioning this in your application for an IT internship.
Step 3: Highlight your relevant skills and interests
The main part of your cover letter is the perfect place to highlight relevant skills you can share if hired for the internship. You can include skills you have gained from your projects, classes, volunteer positions, or previous jobs. Even if those jobs and projects did not relate directly to the internship, those skills could be useful, and you can impress the hiring manager too.
For example, you may decide to apply for an internship at a local newspaper. If you worked as an editor or writer for your high school or college paper, mention those skills in your internship cover letter. In addition, if you have worked as an office receptionist, you can discuss how you learned to schedule employers effectively and the importance of proper time management.
Step 4: Describe what you would gain professionally
An internship may not pay (though some internships do provide a stipend), but it can provide many benefits to the students and young professionals who pursue them. You may choose to do an internship while you are in school in order to learn more about the industry, gain more experience, work on your skills, and foster new relationships that will help you in your career. You may also choose to do an internship to help you decide which niche of a specific industry is right for you.
While most of the cover letter will focus on what you can offer the company that selects you, spend a little time highlighting what you hope to achieve and learn about in the internship. You can mention your desire to gain new knowledge in the field or your passion for it. You can also mention your desire to use this opportunity to determine whether the position in question is a good match for your skill set and will help you advance your career.
Step 5: Add a call to action
Never end a cover letter without a good call to action. Give the hiring manager a chance to call you back. This can be a simple statement in the concluding paragraph of your cover letter. Writing something like “I look forward to hearing back from you to discuss this internship in more detail” can help encourage the hiring manager to call you and arrange an interview rather than ignore the application.
How Should I Send a Cover Letter?
You will most likely send the cover letter for an internship digitally. This can be done through email or an application site. You must consider the approach the employer requests. If using an online application form, you might be asked to send the cover letter as an attachment. Otherwise, you can email the letter along with the resume. However, never paste the letter in the body of the email; instead, email it as an attachment and name the document appropriately so that the hiring manager knows what the attachment is.
Sample Cover Letter
Dear Mrs. [Name]
My name is Carter Thompson, and I am interested in applying for your open marketing internship at XYZ Marketing. I recently became aware of this opportunity through my Advertising course teacher, Professor Loos, and I feel confident that my academic accomplishments and past projects make me the perfect fit for this internship. I am looking for a way to gain hands-on experience in the field of advertising and marketing, which is why I am so excited about this position.
As a sophomore at the University of Nebraska, I have taken courses in marketing, advertising, public relations, customer service, and market research. I feel that to do well in the marketing and advertising industry, you must examine it from a variety of angles, which is why I am so excited to explore as many courses as possible.
While pursuing my degree in Advertising and Public Relations, I was able to utilize the skills I learned in class from my professors to design a marketing campaign for a local downtown boutique, providing them with a 15% increase in profits within six months of the campaign. I look forward to having more opportunities to use my skills and experience in this internship role.
I look forward to a chance to discuss more about my project and any skills that I can bring to the company during an interview with you. I am attaching my resume, which provides more details about my work and educational experience. Feel free to contact me to arrange an interview at your earliest convenience.
As you work on creating your cover letter for an internship, there are a few guidelines you can follow to ensure it is professional. Some of the steps you can take to help create the best internship cover letter include the following:
Use the right keywords
Employers may receive hundreds of applications for highly prestigious internships. However, they may not have time to read each cover letter and resume to find the right candidate. Adding the right keywords makes it more likely that the employer will read your cover letter and consider you for the internship.
Examine the company website and the job description carefully to see which keywords appear frequently. If the job description is looking for someone with time management skills, for example, try to adapt your cover letter to mention your time management skills
Emphasize your ambition using hard numbers
Nothing is more impressive to a hiring manager than information that shows deliverables. If you have some facts and figures about how you have improved things at a previous job or even in an organization you belong to, this can really improve your chances. Real numbers with percentages and growth always look amazing. Highlight it by writing it in bullet points to ensure the hiring manager focuses on that information.
I volunteered as an after-school tutor and helped a group of 10 students increase their testing scores by an average of 15%.
Match your cover letter with the resume
The cover letter and resume will need to match. The cover letter is the perfect opportunity to go into more detail about the work experience, skills, and education you added to the resume. While you do not need to go into great detail about every item on the resume, the employer should be able to see that the cover letter provides more details about the information found on the resume.
Use business letter format
As you write your cover letter, make sure to use the business letter format to add an element of professionalism to it. This means that you need to include your contact information right at the top, so the employer does not have to search for it. Include the employer’s date and contact information along with the appropriate salutation for the recipient of the letter. You should also sign your name at the end of the document. You can use email signatures if you need to send the document electronically.
Individualize your cover letter
Never write one cover letter and use it for every internship you apply for. The employer will notice that the cover letter is generic, and you will miss many opportunities. Make sure the cover letter is unique for each internship you apply for. Highlight the unique abilities and skills you have that relate to that specific internship. Make it your goal to convince the employer that you are an asset to them as an intern. This requires you to make a new cover letter for each internship you apply for. While there may be some overlapping information, no two cover letters should be identical.
Provide specific examples
If you have a skill or work experience to add to the internship letter, then provide specific examples. Numbers are great to prove that you are good at the work, but any examples of how you managed a team, helped customers or did something else that would prove you an asset to the company can be mentioned.
Never submit a cover letter for an internship position without proofreading it first. Common spelling and grammar errors look unprofessional and ruin your chances of getting invited for an interview. Use some editing tools and review the letter before sending it. Consider having a colleague or someone you trust review it as well to ensure that it looks impressive.
A professional and well-written cover letter is a useful document to get your internship application noticed by the hiring manager and distinguish you from other applicants. This internship can improve your chances of having a great career in any industry because you can gain more skills and use them as you finish your studies and look for your first job. Follow the steps outlined above to create the ideal internship cover letter.